Hotspots

Hotspots in the National Cold War Exhibition take the form of audio visual pods. Each one looks at a key aspect of the Cold War and include presentations which last around 10 minutes.

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)

Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD)

MAD was a military strategy of the Cold War superpowers using a theory that the destructive power of wiping out the world would actually prevent anything from happening. In the 1950’s the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) was launched and for which Bertrand Russell played a key role. The annual marches attracted many thousands of people. The focus of protests by large numbers of people was later replaced by the Vietnam War in the 1960’s. In the 1970’s the threat of nuclear war returned and a women’s peace camp was setup at RAF Greenham Common.

Cuban Missile Crisis

Cuban Missile Crisis

This hotspot examines how, in 1962 the world trembled on the brink of nuclear war. The superpowers confronted each other over nuclear warheads in Cuba and later Turkey. A short film shows how the US came close to making very big decisions however, an agreement was reached where weapons were dismantled and the superpowers chose to compromise.

Berlin Airlift & Wall

Berlin Airlift & Wall

The end of the Second World War left East and West Berlin divided. The Russian blockade of West Berlin transport links was one of the first major crises of the Cold War. Western allies took the decision to supply the city by air including coal and food which were flown in on a daily basis. At the height of the airlift, an aircraft was landing or taking off from Gatow airport, Berlin every 90 seconds.

Over a period of 15 years some 3 million people moved from East Germany seeking a better life in the West. Building of the Berlin Wall commenced in August 1961 thereby closing East from West in the city. The wall reached some 66 miles in length and remained in place until its fall in 1989. The hotspot includes a genuine section of the wall complete with graffiti.

Global Conflicts

Global Conflicts

Featuring giant dominoes this hotspot looks at forty six years of conflict and casualties of war. A video presentation examines war throughout the globe including countries such as Vietnam and Cuba. Advances in technology meant that global conflicts became more documented and the world watched on through media and TV.

Space Race

Space Race

The race for supremacy is played out with a deck of cards in this hotspot involving the US and the USSR. The audio visual display includes milestones such as 1957 when Sputnik orbited the earth. The first man in space was December in 1957 but it was not until 1969 when Neil Armstrong first walked on the moon. This was a costly mission which involved support staff totally nearly 400,000.